It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of a special wolf that many of us “knew.” On November 15, Mexican Gray Wolf M740 passed away. His necropsy revealed that he lived with an undetectable and rare chronic bloat condition.
M740 was nine years old and has called the Wolf Conservation Center home since his transfer from the Brookfield Zoo three years ago. He was paired with Mexican wolf F810 for his first two years until last year when members of the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan discovered that he and Mexican wolf F749 had the lowest inbreeding coefficient in the program. An introduction was in order. The pair didn’t realize this, but scientists all over North America were crossing their fingers that M740 and F749 would prove fruitful.
Like most of our Mexican wolves, the pair resided off-exhibit in a natural environment where these most elusive creatures can reside with minimal human contact. In the spirit of George Orwell’s “1984,” WCC makes use of live WildEarthTV webcams to observe food and water intake and monitor the physical well-being of each wolf without the animals’ knowledge. By inviting the public to join, we allow them to learn about these beautiful creatures they might otherwise never see. Mexican wolves M740 and F749 were the most popular pair via webcam. Watchers were treated to witnessing their courtship develop, F749′s belly swell beyond what seemed physically possible, and then WCC staff members give the thumbs up on camera one morning in May after discovering the pair’s robust litter of newborns.
Our hearts go out to his mate and those of you who this wolf had unknowingly touched.